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Holden Commodore V8 Sportswagon 2011 review

The Sportwagon is the best looking thing that Holden has done in a long time.

WE turn the spotlight on automotive's newest and brightest stars, as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. Ultimately, however, there is only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?

What is it?

Once again I take my hat off to Holden's designer Richard Ferlazzo for his work on the Sportwagon. Rich will be remembered for his fantastic EFIJY concept, but for me he be the man who put sex into station wagons. The Sportwagon is the best looking thing that Holden has done in a long time.

How much?

The V8 is priced from $49,790, the SSV with all the trimmings from $57,290 and the Redline edition from $59,790. Among other things the Redline package adds Brembo and upgraded sports suspension in the case of the sedan.

What are the competitors? 

Well, none really. Ford no longer offers a wagon. The closest thing is probably Chrysler's 300C wagon. Maybe the Skoda Superb wagon at a stretch (nice car but completely different creature)

What's under the bonnet? 

6.0-litre V8. In manual forms it produces 270kW of power and 530Nm of torque. The auto has a slightly reduced output of 260kW/517Nm, making it easier on the transmission.

How does it go?

Not bad. The manual requires some finesse to get a fast, clean start. Plenty of torque means you're not changing gears often. Even though it produces less power, we'd opt for the convenience of the auto which is better suited to the wagon.

Is it economical?

The manual is rated at 12.2 and the auto at 12.3 litres/100km. The auto has the benefit of AFM cylinder shutdown technology which could make a big difference depending on what sort of driving you do. We were getting 12.7 litres/100km from our manual test vehicle.

Is it 'Green'?

Gets three out of five stars from the Government's Green Vehicle Guide, producing 288g/km CO2 (Prius gets five).

Is it safe?

Gets a full five stars for safety. Comes with six airbags and electronic traction and stability control.

Is it comfortable?

Holden has been making these cars for a long time and they know how to make them comfortable. Big comfy form-fitting seats are designed especially for the Aussie frame. You're either going to love or hate the red leather interior.

What's it like to drive?

Unlike the previous wagon, this one shares the same 2915mm wheelbase as the sedan which means it's going to handle pretty much the same as the sedan. Rear wheel drive gives it a sporty feel.

Is it value for money?

Compared to say a Euro wagon it is. You get great looks, great performance and the backing of a locally produced product. We particularly liked the stunning 19 inch polished alloys.


Would we buy one?

We'd be tempted. It's a great looking car.

Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

Berlina 3.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $5,990 – 13,990 2011 Holden Commodore 2011 Berlina Pricing and Specs
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Berlina International 3.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $6,555 – 15,888 2011 Holden Commodore 2011 Berlina International Pricing and Specs
Equipe 3.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $4,499 – 16,990 2011 Holden Commodore 2011 Equipe Pricing and Specs
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